Updated: May 10
Continuing on from Part II.
When God and man are joined in Jesus Christ the ensuing life is just that ordinary, so ordinary, so mundane. Why don’t we hear of anything for 18 years? Probably because there was nothing to write about. It was just home, workshop and work. But it was the totality of life.
We need to understand that God Himself, got inside of us so that He could pick up a piece of bread from the table and take up a saw in the carpenter shop and in doing so declare holy and sacred and an act of offering these things that are so insignificant to us. The hands of Jesus, calloused from holding the wood, calloused hands have now become holy hands because they’re the hands of God.
Now the laughter of break time or after work and lunch time – the laughter of human beings with human beings has become holy and made sacred. The whole business of paying taxes and paying bills and receiving bills has become the playing field of God. God got inside of us so that He could teach us the dance steps of human in union with
God. So that getting up in the morning now becomes approaching the day with awe and excitement; something you can share with the Father, because that’s where Jesus learned to go into the solitary place to pray because He’s sharing this life which is a priestly life of offering it to the Father. This is where the love of God came into, where the love of God was explained and seen. And a genuine human lived a life exactly like ours. This is where the love of God was first and fundamentally seen.
He offers that life, that piece of wood, that project, that assignment up to the Father. That in what He offers up the Father might be revealed; or you could say that in His workday He took earth and offered it up to heaven in order that heaven might fill this piece of earth.
And this means He offered His time up to the Father, for all that He did was in time, and He offered the task whatever the task was and whoever was involved in the task, and within it He’s always conscious to obey the Father and to live in His humanity in utter dependence on the Holy Spirit. What He is saying is, “this is My Father's world.” The world and the flesh and the devil have stolen this world and they’ve said it’s theirs.
But Jesus took the carpenter’s store, and He took all that it meant to be living in the middle of Nazareth and said “No, I turn it around. I give it back to the Father, this is My Father’s world. Carpentry is My Father’s world. The trees are My Father’s world. And I who have come inside the human now am steward of this world to take it and offer it back to My Father.”
He’s the Son of God and the recreation, the renewal of the world is already taking place. Make no mistake, this world is going to come to its climax in suffering death and blood and resurrection, but this is vital to it. Look at it this way – you and I are not only forgiven our sins, but we’re also elevated to unbelievable heights in that God came and joined us in our going to work every Monday morning and He elevated us because God Himself joined the workforce and therefore the workforce was elevated to the level of divine.
Now, you and I have confessed Him as Savior and accepted His love and His life that was a worshipping response to the Father. And all that He did as us He now does in us and through us by His Holy Spirit. We are priests in Christ to the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, what does that mean? It means just this; that we offer our entire life wherever we are, whatever we’re doing, whoever we’re interacting with, it’s offered to the Father. Paul wrote in Romans 12:1 that you “present your bodies” – bodies that we go to work with as living sacrifices – as offerings to God.
And where do we find the strength to present our bodies? Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
It’s what Deuteronomy 6:5 means where it says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” so that whatever you’re using your strength for – brain strength, emotional strength, physical strength – it’s an offering to God.
This is not secular work. You come and you transform it even as the presence of God in the carpenter’s store transformed work because God’s doing it. He lives in you; you live in Him; you come to work now, and you do it as a child of God. As a participant in divine nature, who is empowered by the Holy Spirit that in this work, in this arena you shall be part of Jesus continuing now to actualize the recreation.
What does your time - the next five minutes – this day – bring to you? What does this day, this piece of time bring? Well, whatever it brings, here is your opportunity for full-time ministry. That through this the glory of God shall be quietly seen. And in this task whatever it is, then you call upon the Holy Spirit for the wisdom and the ability and the strength of mind, of emotion or of body to do it.
I don’t mean that you go to your place of employment to witness and get out the four spiritual laws and steal your employer’s time. I don’t mean that at all. I don’t mean preaching at work. I mean taking this job and doing it as an act of worship, doing it for the shear love of God.
Jesus told His disciples in Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Jesus said that we shall BE witnesses. He didn’t say we would DO witnessing. Do you see the difference? It would be the way you are; it would be the way you live.
This goes perfectly with what Peter wrote in I Peter 3:15-16; “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.” When we are being a witness, we will have opportunity to do witnessing.
I John 4:17 says “as He is so are we in this world.” What a statement. It means that Jesus is still going to work, Jesus is still going to school, Jesus is still there in the home. He’s in you, as you, through you.
So, our work, our life in the home and all that it means, our life and our social interaction with people, that’s where the fruit of the spirit happens. Some people talk as if the fruit of the spirit happens in a strange never-never land. The love of God in your heart, the joy of the Lord, the peace of God, the faithfulness of God, I don’t know where they think that happens. The fact is it happens in our home, in our social interaction with neighbors, it happens at work, whatever kind of work that may be because that’s where we spend our time.
In Colossians 1:11, when Paul says that he prayed that we would be “strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,” where do you think he was talking about? The people who first heard these letters read were laborers. Many of them were slaves who didn’t even get paid.
That’s where this life of Christ now united with my life takes place. Look, we don’t go to work to find our worth there, we don’t go to work to find the accolades that make us special. We bring our worth to the work and our worth is seen in the way we do it. And what is our worth? We know we are purchased with the blood of God. This is what Paul wrote about in Romans 8:16-17, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of god, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.”
He says of us, we are His beloved children. We know who we are, and we know our infinite worth and we know that we’ve been reborn into the family of God by grace. Now take that to work with you and you’re going to work very differently from someone who is trying to find out who they are and what they’re worth by their job.
In John 13:3, it says “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God.” He knows He is God in the flesh, and He knows why He is here. It then says that Jesus rose from supper, took off His outer garments and knelt and washed the feet of His disciples, which was the work of the most menial slave in a house. And from that day on we’ve looked upon the washing of feet as a divine act. Jesus brought His worth to His work.
We bring to our work our worth, who we are, and we transform our work into the glory of God just by the way we do it. Maybe you’ll go 18 years and there won’t be anything to write. But it’s been written that you’ve taken that piece of time and you’ve brought heaven to earth, and you’ve been the will of God on earth as it is in heaven. And that’s all that counts. That’s success.
Success isn’t having an office in the corner overlooking the city with your name painted on the door. Of course, it might be as long as you know who you are and why you’re there. By the same token, being a loser is not flipping hamburgers. It all revolves around why you are doing what you do. Where is your heart? Is it taking this job and offering it to the Father or is it some poor creature who does it merely for money and worth and envying others and being discontented and complaining and anxious?
So, we work out from our relationship with Him. He’s in me and I’m in Him. We work out of conscious dependence upon the Holy Spirit for this challenge, which is in my job, my home, my children, this opportunity which takes in the same arena. I need divine love to handle this. I need God’s own wisdom for a solution to this. All this happens in the workplace, in the home.
And then we give thanks to God for the work – which is our gift. It is the gift of God. He had ravens bring food to Elijah and He provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness, but normally His gift is a job. Normally He blesses our efforts, our work. That’s the way He works, that’s where His blessing is. And so, in everything we give Him thanks for His provision. And we give Him thanks that He in us is now in the process of bringing this piece of human existence that we are responsible for into the divine dance of love as we offer it to Him as our act of service and worship.
In all our work we serve others – whether we’re flipping hamburgers or whatever – we’re serving somebody. And if you’re a CEO of a large corporation you’re just serving a lot more people but you’re still a servant. All the more so for those of us who are one with the servant of servants.
I say again, this is success. This is joy in the Holy Spirit. This is the peace of God. And it will cause you to discover new enthusiasm because that’s the meaning of the word. Enthusiasm is a Greek word that comes from two words en and theos and it means God in you – that’s what the word means.
That kind of life will leave behind it a million questions. People will want to know the source of such joy, such outlook for the future, such enthusiasm. Where did you get this from? Or as Peter says, “they will ask a reason for the hope that is within you” and that means they’ve seen the hope that is in you. This is what it means that as believers we are the light of the world. It doesn’t mean that we’ve got a building on a street corner and a hope that someone might come in and find the light. No, we’re thrust out into the world because that’s where we belong as creatures. But we’re in the world and not of it.
So, we’re like leaven in the loaf. We’re like a seed in the ground. And there’s light and life and something’s happening because we’re working in that place. And like Joseph in Egypt, our employer and all that we meet, and touch are blessed because we are blessed and have become the conduit of blessing.
We don’t just drift into this by accident. This is facing every day, many times every hour sometimes every 15 minutes with intention. That is when we realize who we are. We realize who we are in Christ and Christ in us. We realize that the Holy Spirit is now giving to us the strength for this moment to go and do it and to know Christ in me and me in Christ increasing being part of the recreation of the world which is why Jesus came. That’s what Jesus did for 18 years.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.